Wednesday, May 4, 2016


1. Go with the flow!

"Uluwatu Temple" by Dorota Quiroz

Dear Friend,
Here I am in Bali and I realize that after I spent over a month on planning, half of my prearranged activities and plans got scraped or cancelled by outside sources.  Be flexible and allow for alterations to the plan. Be open to other possibilities because those will probably make up the most of your trip. I realized that booking local tours is much more economical if it's done there and allows you to alter and accommodate your needs instead of the other way around.

"Jambaran Bay Beach and Seafood feast" by Dorota Quiroz

2. Slow down and smell Kopi Luwak 

Luwak Coffee 
Tea, coffee and coco tasting

Dear Friend,
A small tour geared to your sense of taste and flavor may be just what a doctor ordered for a dull tongue and polluted nostrils. Take a time to taste heavy texture of Luwak coffee and enjoy exhilarating flavors of red ginger tea and tongue twisting heavenly cocoa. Never mind how the coffee beans are processed (yak), but why not try to get if off your bucket list?  A true paradise where you can revive your usually overlooked senses of taste and aroma...

"A feast for the eyes" by Dorota Quiroz

3. Massage your way to serenity

A flower foot bath before massage
Dear Friend,
A massage a day keeps worries away. The body needs the attention of skillful fingers that will find the sore spots and relieve the tension of  tired muscles. The human touch has healing powers and it's available on every corner of every street.

Be wise in your choice and go to establishments with beauty and spa service to guarantee optimal experience. The massage can be often bundled with other services like manicure and pedicure, so agree on the price before the service begins and don't be afraid to bargain, since the competition is steep and you can spend the money you want around the corner if the first price offer is too steep.

Other options include hot springs in Banjar, or  meditation and yoga in Ubud's Yoga Barn, which can complement your physical needs to sooth your body after a long day.

"Banjar Hot spring" by Dorota Quiroz

4. Going solo is the remedy for an overwhelmed soul

"Balinese Doors at Sunhouse Guesthouse" by Dorota Quiroz

Dear Friend,
You can go alone and enjoy Bali as much as if you were in a company of friends or a lover. Balinese people are very polite and outgoing and you can find lots of topics to talk about with people you meet during your stay starting with your driver.

"Ornate doors at Ulun Danu Temple Complex" by Dorota Quiroz

When you are alone, you pay more attention to your surroundings and don't have to compromise your selection of activities to suit another person. There are plenty of opportunities to meet other foreigners, especially if you book organized tours so don't shy away to meet up for dinner or drinks later if the dynamic of the group invites such an arrangement!

"Balinese doors at Rumah Jepun" by Dorota Quiroz

5. Going with a friend is a remedy for a lonely soul

Dear Friend,
You can go with a friend to enjoy Bali as much as if you were going alone. Make sure you travel with a person you love, who you can put up with and have a great time with.... Leave whiners, party poopers, room sitters and monologists at home to truly enjoy what Bali has to offer.

"Bird cages on Sanur Beach" by Dorota Quiroz

This adventurous island begs for a company of go-getters, bucket list checkers and people wanting to experience life to the fullest. Even if you don't attend to the same activities during a day, you can meet up in the evening for a delicious meal and conversation of sharing your impressions, inspiring each other to make the next day even more exciting!

"Balinese boats at Sanur Beach" by Dorota Quiroz

6. Travel light and leave lots of space in suitcase for sarongs and string pants

Dear friend,
Bring a big suitcase, but pack very little. You will find that Bali is loaded with street stands and shops that offer a wide range of funky clothing, sarongs and other curious knick-knacks at bargain prices. The more you buy the better price you can get.

"Balinese lanters" by Dorota Quiroz

Also, never jump on the first offer either! Pick items you are interested in first, and then ask for price. Come back with counter offer. The bargain "war" will begin and it's often a normal procedure in Bali. If it's more than you expected, start walking away. The further you get away from the seller the lower the price! I found beautiful sarongs and walked away with 4 of them for $10! (rupiahs 13,000)
"Gentle Giant" by Dorota Quiroz

7. Live at present, not in future or in past

Dear Friend,
When you come to Bali, you must leave your worries behind and also you must NOT start planning your return trip before you leave! When you pass the huge Hindu gate at the airport, imagine yourself entering another world. Leave you preconceptions, assumptions and fears behind and enter as if you were entering heavenly gates.

"Uluwatu Temple Gate" by Dorota Quiroz

Even though you will see a lot of poverty, run down places and things that might stand out as eye sores, this is a paradise island that does offer "heavenly" things that we think of when we think of perfect vacation: beautiful sites, exciting culture, abundant nature and soothing views. It gets under your skin undetected and it lingers long after you have left it behind.

"Royal Palace wall" by Dorota Quiroz

At the end of your trip you will catch yourself thinking about your calendar and the next time you can travel back to Bali to recuperate your spirit and soul again.

"Lovina Beach" by Dorota Quiroz

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


You probably have never heard of Stanislaw Wyspianski unless you grew up in Poland. I did and i would like to introduce him and his beautiful art to you. I have grown up with these images and they hold a special place in my heart. The portraits of young girls, children, mothers tending to their child are the most common themes I remember. Most of his portraits are those of his own family members, wife Teodora and children: Stas, Mietek and Helenka.

"Self Portrait" by Stanislaw Wyspianski, 1894
     Wyspianski (1869-1907) was an artist of many trades and talents. He created oil paintings, pastel drawings, illustrations, designed furniture and stained glass windows. He was a theatre director, draughtsman and a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. He was born and lived in Krakow and many of his artworks portray his beloved city, where he got educated and spent most of his adult life. He also traveled all over Europe including France, taking up fine art studies in Paris at Colarossi Academy. He worked under the famous Polish painter Jan Matejko.

     In addition to his art, he also became famous, among others, for his playwrights like Wesele - "The Wedding" (1901), and poetry ( "Niech nikt and groom mi in place? Let No One Cry over My Grave" 1903 ) and he is considered by Poles as one of most important Polish writers after Adam Mickiewicz, and Juliusz Slowacki.

I don't want to rewrite his biography here, just to share his artwork, so if you are interested in more details of his life or his multitude of literary work, please go to the bottom of this page for more resources.

I found his artwork tender and moody. It places me right there with children and other portrait sitters. I can feel the intimacy of the moment thanks to brisk and quick movements of the line, I can sense the immediacy of the frozen moment in the expressive marks of the faces. I find Wyspianski's portraits captivating and I feel like I can't make myself stop looking at them. Hope you will find his artwork as mesmerizing as I do. Enjoy!

"Motherhood" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Boy with pistols" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Girl in a blue hat" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Girl putting out a candle" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Girl portrait" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Helenka" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Motherhood" 1905 by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Motherhood" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Girl with blue eyes" by Stanislaw Wyspianski 
"Portrait of a girl" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Portrait of a girl" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Portrait of Mietek" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Portrait of Salomea Hankiewiczowa with her daughter" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Sleeping Stas" 1904 by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Study of a child - Mietek" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Vanitas" by Stanislaw Wyspianski
Stained Glass Window of St. Francis Church by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Self portrait with wife at the window" 1904 by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Spiacy Stasiu" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Self portrait"1902 by Stanislaw Wyspianski
"Motherhood" 1904 by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Boy with a flower" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Girl in a native costume" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"A profile of a girl" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"Sleeping Stasiu" by Stanislaw Wyspianski

"View of Kosciuszko Mound" 1902 by Stanislaw Wyspianski
"Sunrise" by Stanislaw Wyspianski


  • Stanisław Wyspiański. Studium artysty, ed. E. Miodonska-Brookes, Kraków, 1996;
  • Magia "Wesela", ed. J. Michalik and A. Stafiej, Kraków, 2003;
  • T. Makowiecki, Poeta-malarz. Studium o Stanisławie Wyspianskim, Warszawa, 1969
  • Skoczylas, L. (1972) Stanisław Wyspiański – życie i twórczość. Cracow: Książnica Powszechna.
  • Zimmer, Szczepan K. (1959) Stanisław Wyspiański, Biographical Sketch, translated by Helena Maria Zimmer

Biography & Works


Sunday, April 17, 2016


My little LA LA world
The idea of my importance in the world always disappears when I travel... As an individual, just like everyone else, I carry my own world in my head and all the problems, joys, heartaches and mischiefs that come with it - all neatly packed in my cranial cavity. I am an individual with all sort of strings attached, family and friends, dreams, ambitions and failures, bad habits, good traits, or... good habits and bad traits, you make your pick...

Travel puts things in perspective

Yet, all this nonsense becomes secondary and obsolete in the scale of cosmic things, when the ratio of my world is shrank to a nanomilimeter in a direct proportion to the number of miles travelled.

Nonsense of my world
Miles travelled                     = Ego

Looking at my life from the top

Flying high above cumulus clouds, not being able to even see the traces of earthly terrain, my perception of what I mean in this world is greatly diminished and rather depressing. I become this tiny, insignificant, slow-crawling insect on a sidewalk of the world, avoiding getting squashed by the sandals of capricious external forces.

Am I an insect ready to be squashed?

Travel always teaches me a new lesson every single time I go away and this time the question posed during my recent escape was:


Discovering yourself while discovering new sites

The one important value of true travel is not only to discover new sites, but to discover yourself while being there.

This rather simple concept is rather shocking realization to my overfed obese ego living in its special "la-la world" where I am the queen. By traveling I'm removed from the comforts of my known matrix, where "court" habits, associations and comforts made me the center of my world, a gravitational black hole that sucks in everything around me.

Getting the right perspective

Travel is like a detox treatment, removing all the impurities of selfishness, shedding pounds of ego and looking at the world and yourself with a brand new healthy attitude.

Travel is a toast to life bigger than myself and I'm invited to raise my glass.

Travel is my snappy rubber band to yank me right back into long-term perspective of my own life.

Travel is recharging my understanding of myself as insignificant in the grand scale of time, space and relativity.

Looking at the grand scale of time, space and relativity

This cosmic "put down" is not meant to diminish my potential as a human being, but to remind me that in the scale of things, I need to live my live to the fullest. Neither the smallest of problems or one large tragedy of my life will be known or remembered by anyone in the distant future, but will only impede my life and distract me from my goal of achieving happiness.

Bump on the road in my  journey

Therefore, every time I'm faced with difficulties, I must step back as often as possible to refocus on what is important in grand scale of things and to get the right perspective to dismiss it as a small bump on the road in my journey.